A Jewish Okie, a gay Mexican and a trans woman walk into a club. Laugh

RIOT CONTROL | Straight girl Shawn Pelofsky and gay Mexican Thai Rivera, pictured, join Dallas trans comic Dina Martinez for an evening of gay-themed humor Wednesday at the Addison Improv.

GREGORY SULLIVAN ISAACS  | Contributing Writer


The Improv. 4980 Belt Line Road Ste. 250, Addison, March 14 at
8 p.m. $17. Improv.com


What do a straight Jewish girl from Oklahoma, a gay Mexican and a Dallas-area transgender woman have in common? All are comics who will be appearing at Stand-Up and Proud, a gay- themed show at the Addison Improv on Wednesday.

It’s no big deal with Shawn Pelofsky, the sassy Jewish one, who claims she is “gayer than the gayest man in the room.” That’s saying something for the frequent headliner on Atlantis Cruises.

Thai Rivera, who loves to do “fag jokes in rednecky clubs” and live to tell about it, adds a south-of-the-border flair. Trans comic Dina Martinez started out life as a Southern Baptist boy but now is a “plus size girl, comic and radio host, whose mother forgets about her all the time.”

Martinez will MC, while Pelofsky and Rivera will each do complete sets of their wildly successful acts.

Both comics’ styles are about delivering outrageous riffs on the sexual mores of contemporary life, gay or otherwise, in a rapid fire staccato with many references to “Dick” … although they never really made clear who that is. Maybe a mutual friend.

“Why not? “says Pelofsky. “Any conversation with any of my gay friends turns to sex, no matter how far from that subject I start. When I ask about their sick grandmother, I get a blasé ‘OK,’ followed by a drooling description of a buff new number at the gym.”

Rivera has a different take. “I do gay humor, but I also get to draw on my experience of being another minority, which is a Mexican,” says Rivera. “I really don’t fit in that world because I don’t speak Spanish, so I know what it is like to be an outsider. That’s why I like to work redneck bars, it doesn’t feel like an act — just a long funny suicide note.”

Both enjoy exposing straight audiences to gay humor and realizing that people are not as closed-minded as they used to be. Queer comedy has become an underpinning of contemporary humor and all kinds of audiences respond positively. “It gives them something to think about on the way home,” says Rivera.

Appearing in redneck clubs hasn’t helped Rivera’s romantic life, however. “I have problems in bars because it is usually very old white men that approach me. They always say I remind them of someone they met years ago.” Every time this happens, “I think, ‘Could be worse. At least they have a fond memory … but we’re not going to make another one.’”

Pelofsky, on the other hand, is still searching for a replacement for the “half-black, green-beret 6-foot-4 former cop who was a fireman” that she dated a while back. “It was wonderful, but of course, it only lasted about ten minutes. Maybe an hour.”

She’s still trying, and her wish-list sounds like it mirrors many gay men’s fantasies. “There is no current boyfriend, but I do have some candidates on speed dial. Mainly Latinos. However, they say everything is bigger in Texas, if you get my drift, so I will keep some room on my speed dial for local applicants.”

As the wisecracks fly from the stage, there will be a lot of love radiating from the audience. All three comics have legions of fans — and not just the gay boys.

“We do great with lesbians,” says Pelofsky. “All three of us have jokes for everybody because they are about the universal experiences of being on the outside of society. We embrace the LGBT community, every letter of it, in its entirety. Put me in a room, any room, and I can make them laugh.”

Maybe their friend Dick will even show up.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 9, 2012.